visit to artist gary westfjord’s atelier


at the gate of gary’s studio


art lined stairway up


boston blackie? gary sez look it up on youtube.


tools of the trade


gary & nic


where are we now?


hiway 61 peace vida loco


composition in antiques, velvets & tools


the ford. the ice, the reference.


afterwards table five 08


nic looking cool in the 91 degree temperature outside


yours truly


our chariot awaits at the curb to take us to work in our own studio


primal op

the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in salem, OR consistently delights and surprises us with its exhibitions, and the “Primal Op” exhibition that opened may 31 and goes through august 24 is literally an eye popper. the opening day of the exhibition for us begins in the nicholsloy studio backyard friday morning, may 30. thanks to john hofer and jana hofer, long time friends of the artist and his artist wife, nic and i get to meet jane orleman, the wife of the late dick elliot, the primal op artist whose work is the featured exhibition. this is jane taking snapshots of john hofer.



jane orleman with jana hofer. john and jana recently celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary. two sharp cookies, let me tell you.


in the background is dick johnson who worked as a fabricator and assistant to artist dick elliot for many years. more about him later.


you know how it is, one can’t get enough pictures of a gathering of note. john hofer graciously connected nic and i with jane orleman as the two of us identify with eccentric artist couples who work together outside the need to be known or even to sell.


early evening of this same day, john olbrantz, who curated the exhibition, moderated a lively panel discussion of dick elliots’ work which included jim elliot—dick’s brother, john hofer, jane orleman, dick johnson (who once taught english at central washington university in ellensburg) and sheila farr, the author of the monograph of dick’s work.


and here we are the next afternoon, saturday taking our time to view this remarkable collection of Primal Op art. oh do go! bring your kids! those wild designs you see behind nic are made from reflectors. yes, from reflectors. hundreds and hundreds and hundred of reflectors and you know what reflectors do.


you see, everyone gets a mini maglite to hold between and just above ones eyes, the 3rd eye position, and you beam it on the art pieces. the art pieces literally pop alive with astonishingly bright lights and become 3 dimensional. the further away one stands from them with the light beam the more remarkable the reflectors shine and give off light.


this illumination action is for the viewer with the mag lite only. it cannot be captured by camera nor by anyone standing beside you unless they too hold a mag lite to their 3rd eye.


“it’s a trip!” nic exclaims. and it is. imagine a museum full of viewers with mag lites to their foreheads. swirl the mag lite on your forehead and the lighted art also begins to swirl and whirl. try it. you will be astonished, dizzy. what fun.


this piece is a painting and not a reflector piece, but it gives you an idea of the scale of some of dick’s pieces. to the left of this picture is a very large silver reflector piece that will knock your socks off. the ex-english prof who became a fabricator/ artist assistant for dick elliott tells of how he glued these reflectors on, from an 8 1/2″ x 11″ drawing dick elliott would give him, often gluing in 3 or even 4 layers.


well folks, so much more could be shown here, but as it was (shhhh!) we hadn’t asked permission to take pictures and were feeling pretty sneaky by now. this is one of two neon pieces in the show and upstairs is a another kick in the eyes for viewers… sculptured fertility pieces with wild paint and glitter, optic prints in the print room and so much more. we were there so long tripping out that the woman at the desk finally sent out the security guard to check out what we were doing. it’s dazzlingly new and visionary, serious and playful at the same time. tuesdays are free admission and kids get in free at all times! gotta see this. oh, and i almost forgot, the killer video. by all means sit on the bench and take the tour of dick and jane’s house with dick and jane talking about how it came about as well as how they came to work as artists together. not a talking heads video… almost a cartoonish romp thru, well, dick and jane’s life and vision.

a memorable nicholsloy studio memorial day weekend

1. andy

while andy and sloy look on nic is dealt a monster job. the attic door croaks and gapes open mawed. even if mawed isn’t a word it mawed.

2. foot

nic broke it on day 1 of memorial day weekend on a mission to the attic. or it broke while nic climbed it. (might have been sloy’s me, my, mine’s fault.) we don’t know he says. he doesn’t point a finger at me.

3. rope

i had prettified the topmost shelf under the trapdoor hinge with a neato footed wire bowl a day or two before. then the bent metal hinge, metal once bent fatigue. there were clues. here nic is getting ready to tie the door closed with him in the attic.


5. pulling

so all memorial day weekend he sweated and cursed and hoisted his 66 YO self up and down in and out of that yawning inferno wrestling one dead 50+ pounder and one live 50+pounder.

6. ladder off

the old door dangling with fold up ladder and most hanging apparatus removed.

7. painting new

of course, the new door must be painted before installation.

8. new painting

a few knocked over sloy ‘spice’ jars and some dicey moments but at last today, wednesday 28,  signs of victory.

which of his two adversaries old or new gave him the most hell it’s difficult to assess but he won. he figured it out. he didn’t get hurt. and it’s all finish work from here.

9. old door

the painting on the old door from cork stamps nic carved for an oil painting called, “mapping heaven”.

10. closeup old door





take your pulse

1. sloy

sloy here your faithful blogger taped to the wall.

2. choose glasses choose a sign snap! killer

choose your glasses choose your sign snap killer!

3. james and emily

james & emily

4. bonnie and roger

bonnie & roger

5. bonnie hull

a snippet of a bonnie hull

6. chris griffin phantom

a chris griffin nearby

7. nic

nic getting his mugshot.

8. mary lou zeek

mugshot shoots a mary lou zeek exclusive

9. nic & sloy

go to pulse get on the wall


nic & sloy hang with mary lou.


nic’s new eyes

front view pair 1
pair 1
side view pair 1
side view pair 1


pair 2
pair 2
sideview pair 2
side view pair 2


pair 3
pair 3
sideview pair 3
side view pair 3


pair 4
pair 4
sideview pair 4
side view pair 4


pair 5
pair 5
side view #5
side view pair 5


pair 6
pair 6
side view pair 6
side view pair 6


pair 7
sideview pair #7
pair 7 side view


which did he choose?
which did he choose? (les brown, of glance, measuring)


pair being retired (over corpse reviver II)
pair being retired (over corpse reviver II) 
side view
side view (he says after 8 years he got tired of wearing this pair)


getting organized


today’s rainy day activity—take pictures of shoes and tape them to their respective shoeboxes.

2two stacks of jeans… one for ‘work’ the other for ‘dressier’

3drawers for doodads and storing a purse

4opposite upper shelf with 70’s samsonite luggage

5nic’s shoes

6nic’s work jeans and dress up pairs. no more guessing where things are, at least for as long as this system holds.

snowmageddons (present and past)

1. feb 6

snowmageddon northwest style as seen from a small neighborhood in northeast salem. forecasters say we have not seen snow like this since 2008. and so we set about looking at photos from the 2008 storm to compare them with what is being termed ‘snowmageddon’ today.

2. night feb 6snowfall the evening of thursday, february 6, 2014. view from the back porch.

3. morning feb 7a view across the street at sunrise this morning (friday 7)

4. audi in snowthe audi with its shroud of snow. and up next, 2008.

1. dec 21 2008snowmageddon past. december 21, 2008

2. berry tree fallsa dangerously leaning eucalyptus tree and the one favorited by flocks of robins downed.

3. evening dec 21evening of the first day

4. dec 22december 22. the precariously leaning eucalyptus tree later falls on a sunny day in the near future.

5. dec 22

6. dec 23nic takes stock. it is scary. our eucalyptus tree now leans on the power and telephone wires coming from the pole to our house.

8. dec 23so nic then springs into action shoveling sidewalks for us and a neighbor.

9. evening dec 23evening december 23, 2008. a long icicle hangs from the meter box.

friday morning feb 7, to shovel or not to9:30 AM and in the present snowmageddon, nic goes out to decide whether to shovel or not to shovel the walkways. more snow and freezing rain is forecast. what he truly aches to do, and so will find reasons, is take that audi S5 out for a spin. “it’s made for snow,” he opines, barely concealing his keenness for adventure. hark! the deep rumbling purrs of an audi warming in the driveway.